Madness in Elie Wiesel’s Night, and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

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Mankind has struggled throughout eternity, battling the demons that come from the very depths of the soul. Elie Wiesel’s novel, Night, and William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies show how quickly humans can descend into chaos and savagery. When dehumanization presents itself in unruly civilizations, humans turn into more primitive beings. The process of dehumanization begins through a loss of morals, knowledge, and innocence. The main characters in both novels find themselves in the eternal battle of good versus evil. Morals guide people to behave in a civilized manner; dehumanization shows itself when people abandon their morals and ethics. Dehumanization, by definition, “is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil”. The people who go through the process of dehumanization become less educated, more savage-like and will do anything to survive. Without morals, humans will slowly lose their compassion for others. Once humans lose morals, they show dehumanization by acting like wild beasts. Having a strong sense of right and wrong allows humans to be guided to a civilized society. The leader of a group needs to present good morals and ethics. Without a just and moral leader, dehumanization will begin to creep upon its next victims. During times of chaos, the victims’ morals begin to be corrupted by their surroundings. Elie Wiesel, himself, witnesses the process of dehumanization frequently during his time in the Holocaust. The atrocities that Elie Wiesel witnesses often begin due to a lack of morals. Elie witnesses a son abandon his morals in order to stay alive. The son, “had seen him losing ground, sliding back to the... ... middle of paper ... ...roup of people has to have good morals. The leader’s morals will greatly affect a civilization. Great men fall not only fall due to a lack of morals, but because they could not hold onto their knowledge. Knowledge allows humans to make the most educated choices. Without the enlightenment of knowledge, humans descend into a great darkness. Innocence prevents people from growing up too fast. Growing up too fast can cause a person to become calloused and scarred. A loss of innocence too soon drastically changes a person. In times of chaos and warfare, humans will find themselves battling their greatest enemy: their own self. Works Cited Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print. Wiesel, Elie, and Marion Wiesel. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, a Division of Farrar, . Straus and Giroux, 2006. Print.

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